Below is a response to the opinion column of Peter Reith linked here regarding the Royal Commission into Unions and media reports involving it.
Dear Mr Reith,
Perhaps your judgement on the HSU matter is clouded due to all the photos of your night out with Kathy Jackson that are on the internet.
In your column you claim:
“Union revenge against Kathy Jackson for being the whistle-blower on union corruption is just plain wrong.”
Is that your way of saying that the union should not be allowed to pursue Jackson legally for all of the funds there is a mountain of evidence indicating she may have misappropriated?
If that is in fact your position then frankly I find it rather offensive, as I’m sure union members do also.
Jackson has already admitted to what appear to be illegal practices on the witness stand under oath and hasn’t even face cross-examination as yet.
As you say the Royal Commission will run its course and who did what will eventually be revealed, or at least we hope so. I just hope that you will accept the outcome on Ms Jackson as you already seem rather reluctant.
Your attack on Mark Latham and John Faine for having an opinion on the Royal Commission and its integrity comes across as a bit desperate.
Both Latham and Faine are entitled to voice their opinions the same as Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt are. Even you are welcome to voicing an opinion Mr Reith as your column demonstrates, it is all part of a living in a free society.
The questions that have been raised about the integrity of the Royal Commission are completely valid, as transparency does seem to have got lost along the way somewhere.
I was present at the Royal Commission throughout last week and was certainly not the only person to notice the difference in the questioning styles of Jeremy Stoljar when Craig McGregor took the stand.
The contrast was stark, and I can assure you Mr Reith that every single member of the press in the media room picked up on it. It was like Stoljar had been whispering in the ears of previous witnesses and chose to scream in the face of McGregor, the change was that noticable, it was just a shame that the live feed went down so the public missed seeing it, as I assume you did given I didn’t see you in attendance.
Craig McGregor is not some union thug trying to exact revenge on Jackson. He is a radiologist who is not factionally aligned with anyone and who is seeking answers on behalf of his membership of the union for which he is now the Secretary after being elected by a membership that was sick to death of Kathy Jacksons faction.
For him not to seek answers would be to fail in his duties and to let the members down. It should be remembered that McGregor didn’t limp over the line in the union elections, he won a landslide victory and succeeded in every elected position.
Fairfax whom you write for have even suggested that McGregor is a whistle-blower of the type you claim to protect.
Also bringing the integrity of the Royal Commission into doubt is continued intimidation of members of the media and other union officials by Jacksons right hand man Marco Bolano. This was reported to Commission Security yet continued unabated and is now a police matter and has been reported by several media outlets.
However it is the official statement of Bruce Wilson and his supplementary statement that ring alarm bells and should concern each and every member of the public who were hoping for transparency from this Royal Commission.
Bruce Wilson, who is the former partner of Julia Gillard made sworn testimony in his statements that the Commission decided it didn’t wish to have in evidence and deleted it from his signed statements.
Part of this censored statement was brought to light by on John Faines radio programme and involved allegations that a payment of $200,000 was offered to set Gillard up by one of the Commission witnesses Harry Nowicki.
This will not be explored by the Commission for reasons that are unclear at best.
In the media room we were given Wilsons statement with 9 blank pages at the end with a signature, and his supplementary statement was given out with more than half of it censored at the Commission’s request.
I can assure you the significance of this was not lost on the media present. Copies of the censored statements can be seen via the below links.
Your faith in the integrity and transparency of a Royal Commission that deems it appropriate to treat some witnesses as hostile while others are treated softly, is noted Mr Reith, as is your confidence in the fairness of a Commission that censors out the sworn testimony of a key witness, seemingly because it does not suit the agenda.
In your piece you demand transparency from the Labor Party, but yet you appear to apply a different set of standards for this Royal Commission.
You claim in your piece that you don’t know what happened in the Health Services union in regards to Jackson and I don’t doubt that at all given your apparent selective seeking of truth.
However I would suggest that someone who admits to having no knowledge on the matter let those who do have a solid understanding do their jobs without your misdirected criticism and scorn from the sidelines.
Just a suggestion of course…